CTK 2013 – Pittsburgh City League Preview

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | 11:51 PM


For the second year in a row, Pittsburgh City League football will be a nice little six pack.

With the closure of Oliver, Peabody, Langley and Schenley in recent years, the City League is down six teams. Last year was the first season with only six teams and Perry defeated University Prep for the title.

One of the problems with having only six teams is that teams have experienced some trouble getting a nine-game schedule. Last year was the first year that the WPIAL scheduled all nine games for WPIAL teams. In the past, the WPIAL did not schedule season openers. It was up to WPIAL schools to play whoever they wanted. Thus, some WPIAL teams played a City League team in the opener.

But the City can’t play WPIAL teams in the opener now because WPIAL conference games start the first week of the season. So, City teams have to get games against teams outside the WPIAL if they want an eight- or nine-game schedule.

All City teams play home games at Cupples Stadium on the South Side. Some of the non-league games are at Cupples and some on the road.

Allderdice is playing two road games in West Virginia and one in Ohio. University Prep is playing Canada Prep Football Academy at Cupples. A few City teams are playing games against Erie opponents.

Here is a look at the City League this year:

ALLDERDICE DRAGONS:

After making it to the City League title game in 2011, the Dragons slipped last year and fell to 3-6. Coach Jerry Haslett lost 20 seniors from last year’s team, but there is reason to believe the Dragons could be improved this year. The reason is linemen.

A host of linemen return, including Brody Miller, who was an all-City League selection last year. Jalen Ledbetter, Rob Smith and Talon Smith also return on the lines.

Establishing a running game will be paramount for Allderdice with the graduation of Patrick Ferguson. Antonio Thomas and Marquis Martin figure to lead the running game. The quarterback position was uncertain, with a few different players vying for the job. The offense would like to improve after scoring only 86 points in five league games last year.

Linebacker Matt Hill is one of the defensive leaders.

BRASHEAR BULLS:

It was forgettable year in 2012 for Brashear. The team had its first losing season (3-6) since 2001. Now there could be the running of the Bulls again in the City League.

Brashear has a number of returning players and some talented ones. Lineman Scott Evans (6-3, 250) made all-City League last year and already has committed to Harvard. Also back on the line is three-year starter Jeff Arnold and also Jordan Maben.

Angelo Reed takes over at quarterback and the Bulls will try to establish a running game with Ty Powe and Khalil Saunders. Powe transferred from Imani Christian.

The defense will be led by linebacker Diondre Faulk, a three-year starter.

CARRICK RAIDERS:

There’s a new man in charge of the Raiders. Craig Aguglia is in his first season as coach after spending the previous 10 years as an assistant at Brashear. He takes over a program that has mostly struggled the past few decades.

Carrick was winless last year and won only one game in 2011. But there is potential for improvement. Jessie Reed was an all-City defensive lineman a year ago. Keith Davis is a four-year starting lineman.

They will be blocking for Joe Kalsek, who led the team in rushing the past two seasons. Davon Cruse will take over at quarterback.

PERRY COMMODORES:

The Commodores lost a number of key players from last year’s City champion, but there is enough returning talent and enough tradition to make Bill Gallagher’s team a championship contender again.

Curtis Edmonds graduated after rushing for more than 1,000 yards last season and Perry needs to develop a running game as well as a quarterback. Three players were battling for the quarterback job in the preseason – Shawn Rutherford, Desean McGhee and Mondo Hardy. Gary Reid is one of the running backs along with Chandler Houston.

Perry has some experience at receiver with Jajuan Byrd and Kevin Griffin.

Linebacker Aaron Brown and defensive back Kip Humphreys are players to watch on defense.

UNIVERSITY PREP PANTHERS:

This is the third year of University Prep’s team, which is a mixture of players from University Prep, Science & Technology and Obama Academy. The team likes to call itself USO (for the three schools involved) and even has USO on its jerseys. But the official name of the team is still University Prep. Not to confuse you, but in basketball season these three schools go by the team name of Obama.

University Prep won the City title two years ago and lost in the title game to Perry, 9-6, in overtime last year. A number of top players graduated from last year, most notably QB Akil Young, who threw for 2,615 yards.

Ron Brown looks to take over at quarterback. He was the starting QB at Westinghouse last year as a sophomore before transferring to University Prep.

WR-DB Curtis Williams, RB-LB Abner Roberts, OL-DL Kevin Williams and WR-DB Nicholas Stallworth are returning starters. Look for this team to challenge for the City championship again.

WESTINGHOUSE BULLDOGS:

When it rains, it pours. Westinghouse has struggled in recent history. The Bulldogs finished 1-7 last year and had only a few starters returning. Then Brown went and transferred to Univeristy Prep.

Sophomore Darnell Jordan will most likely take over at quarterback. Richard Harris will play a variety of roles on offense. Linebackers Rapheal Drummond and Tevin Johnson are returning starters at linebacker.

MSA SPORTS PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH IN THE CITY LEAGUE:

1.   Perry Commoroes

2.   University Prep Panthers

3.   Brashear Bulls

4.   Allderdice Dragons

5.   Carrick Raiders

6.   Westinghouse Bulldogs

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